SUNSET -- His last name should be Brawn, but it's one letter off. Mr. Utah and Mr. USA, Chad Brann, has only been bodybuilding seriously for one year, but he's already shown that his brawn is the best, as he's collected quite a few titles.
This weekend, he'll be in Australia, competing in the 2009 Natural Olympia, an international contest that features the best from each country.
Although he'd lifted heavily for 10 years, Brann hadn't added the diet portion of bodybuilding to his regimen until about a year and half ago. He begain his regimen weighing 248 pounds.
"I was really big," Brann said. "But I was carrying a lot of fat, so I decided I wanted to bodybuild, so I kind of got into it. I started to diet and I stepped on stage last September for the first show. I stepped out at 198 (lbs) and competed and won my first one right there, a first place in novice."
Brann said David Edgell, a trainer in Roy, taught him poses and how to diet. From there Brann won every contest he entered, culminating with his win this year at Team USAs in California, which earned him his spot on a team that will be representing the U.S. Thursday through Sunday in Australia.
"Not only did I qualify, I beat guys like Chad Martin, who's a veteran pro. He's won it straight for six years and I went in and crushed him," said Brann. "I've done some things that not very many people have done. It's been an exciting year. It's kind of taken me by surprise. I never expected to do as well as I have."
Brann bodybuilds and does shows through the International Natural Bodybuilders Association and Amateur Bodybuilding Association, organizations that emphasize natural bodybuilding with frequent drug testing. So his muscle has everything to do with diet and work, and nothing to do with steroids.
"My favorite part is just living the lifestyle of being healthy and having a clean diet, and knowing that everything I've done has come from hard work," said Brann. "The last eight-to-10 years, everyday that I've shown up in the gym, I'm finally starting to see results from that."
"The great part is that I'm all natural, so I can say I've earned this. I've put the time in. I didn't need steroids or extra testosterone to get me where I'm at. It's all been genetics and going every day and staying dedicated."
Brann said the hardest part has been the strict carbohydrate and mainly protein diet.
"There are certain days that you feel like it's going to drive you nuts, and you want to give up and throw in the towel, but you keep that goal in mind and you know if you quit you're not going to get there." Brann said. "It's kind of just been a journey for me. Every time I've stepped out on stage, I've just wanted to feel better and look better. Winning is great, but it's more about how far I've come and the work I've put into it and my personal accomplishments. It comes down to how I've felt."
Brann said his goals for Natural Olympia include looking tighter and stronger than he did at USAs. After the competition he'll take some time off from his diet and scale back his lifting to give his body time to build up again and to spend more time with his wife and two little boys.
"No way I could have done this without them. I would have crumbled a long time ago," Brann said. "They've helped me so much to push through it. I've had some tough times, and my wife has really helped support me and helped me not to give up."